New on SSRN: Legal Education in Crisis, and Why Law Libraries are Doomed

It’s still a bit rough, but in view of recent developments in law library land (including reports from Washington University Law School), I thought I should post this for comment:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2370567

Legal Education in Crisis, and Why Law Libraries are Doomed

Abstract:      

 
The dual crises facing legal education—the economic crisis affecting both the job market and the pool of law school applicants, and the crisis of confidence in the ability of law schools and the ABA accreditation process to meet the needs of lawyers or society at large—have undermined the case for not only the autonomy, but the very existence, of law school libraries as we have known them. Legal education in the United States is about to undergo a long-term contraction, and law libraries will be among the first to go. A few law schools may abandon the traditional law library completely. Some law schools will see their libraries whittled away bit by bit as they attempt to answer “the Yirka Question” in the face of shrinking resources, reexamined priorities, and university centralization. What choices individual schools make will largely be driven by how they play the status game.
  
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
 
Keywords: law libraries, legal education, law schools, rankings, reputation
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3 Comments

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3 responses to “New on SSRN: Legal Education in Crisis, and Why Law Libraries are Doomed

  1. Linda

    Hi Jim: Saw that you were quoted in yesterday’s WSJ on this issue. What are the “reports” from Wash U Law?

  2. Apparently there are plans afoot to consolidate the law library into the main university libraries.

  3. Linda

    The success of such a move would depend entirely on the quality/expertise/ability of the main library and its staff. This could likely succeed that a university with a research-level collection and first-rate staff. At a lot of places, the law library and its staff is head and shoulders above the main library in all respects, at least that was my experience…..

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